The Fremont City Council approved a Film Incentive Program rebate of no more than $35,000 for a film that will be shot in the city next month.
The council unanimously approved an application to the Film Incentive Program from The Red Flame, LLC approving a rebate in the amount of 30% of local expenditures which are estimated at $97,000.
While the estimated rebate amount is $29,100, the resolution also capped the total rebate at $35,000 if the film’s budget were to exceed the currently estimated $97,000 figure.
The application was also reviewed and recommended by both the Citizen Advisory Review Committee (CARC) and Local Option Review Team (LORT), with the latter committee recommending approval on the condition the $35,000 cap be put in place.
“They (LORT) wanted to put a cap on it--but also build in a small cushion--in case local expenditures were higher than what they have estimated,” City Grant Coordinator Lottie Mitchell said. “They wanted to put a cap so if the budget should double our incentive rebate doesn’t double without us being aware of it.”
The film—which is titled “La Flamme Rouge”—is being developed by two Falls City natives in cooperation with local filmmaker Ehren Parks and is set to begin filming in and around the city in May.
“This film is going to be an entirely Nebraska made production,” Parks said. “Everyone that is going to be working on this film is a local hire--they all live within 50 miles of Fremont.”
“La Flamme Rouge” was written and will be co-directed by brothers Derek and Brent Maze—who described the film as a longtime passion project for the duo who grew up in Falls City and attended University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Johnny Carson School of Theater and Film.
“Being from a small town you see all these movies being made in Los Angeles, Georgia, or wherever—and I always thought why not just make it in Nebraska,” Derek Maze said. “It’s really exciting to be able to do this around here, it’s been our dream and it’s finally coming to fruition.”
During the meeting, Brent Maze explained the meaning behind the title “La Flamme Rouge” and gave some insight into the plot of the film.
“It means the red flame which is the ending mark or the goal at the end of a long race like the Tour De France,” he said. “The main character is an injured cyclist, his knee is blown out, and he has all these odds stacked against him and it’s about what he can do to get to the finish line.”
During the discussion about the resolution to grant the Film Incentive Program rebate, council members asked about certain aspects of production including the use of firearms and whether or not the film would contain nudity.
“There are quite a few action scenes in there that are weapons related,” Councilmember Brad Yerger said. “How do you control weapons on set? Are they live weapons? Are they movie props?”
According to Parks, the film production team plans to work with local business Tactical Supply Gear to acquire prop weapons for use in the film.
“There is a whole industry built around prop guns, so we are actually going to work with Tactical Supply Gear here in town and they actually have a vendor where they can get these prop weapons,” he said. “They also use a muzzle flash in production, so you can digitally create a muzzle flash so you don’t have to discharge a round.”
Parks said that the production will also coordinate with local law enforcement in relation to the use of weapons and the potential closure of roads for “high-speed chase” scenes included in the film.
He also ensured that--while the film could be rated R by the Motion Pictures Association of America—that there is no nudity, and actually not even a single kiss in the film.
“I don’t believe there is even a kiss,” he said. “There’s no nudity or anything egregious like that, the language isn’t even that rough, to be honest.”
The Film Incentive Program is funded through the Local Option Economic Development Fund (LB840) and allows for applicants to receive a rebate based on qualified local expenditures.
The Film Incentive Guidelines state that rebates may not exceed 30 percent of the money in LB840 and may not exceed 30 percent of the qualified local expenditures. Film Incentive Program Grants are calculated and paid once local expenditures have been submitted and verified.